tropical trees

Recipe for success

&Green was established in 2017 as an independent investment vehicle to be a market leader in directly financing delinking deforestation in the tropics from commodity supply chains. The initial promoter was IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, who partnered with the anchor investor, the Norwegian Climate and Forestry Initiative (NICFI) to get the idea off the ground. 

Five years later and deforestation, a major driver of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, remains high and out of control. While the levers to stop deforestation are known, the time to actually implement these , at scale, must be right now. Finance will play a critical role to solve the problem of deforestation, and &Green’s learnings are showcasing how it can be used as a tool for success.

WHAT HAPPENED AT GLASGOW?

In November 2021, delegates and world leaders from every nation gathered for the UN’s annual ‘Conference of the Parties’ summit for the 26th time: COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. The event took place in a year of growing severity of climate change impacts, with all regions of the world experiencing record temperatures, fires, storms, flooding and/or droughts. 

Accounting for 25% of global greenhouse gases, the agriculture, forestry and other land uses (AFOLU) sector is the second largest anthropogenic source of emissions after fossil fuel combustion. By 2050, c.10 billion people worldwide will need to be fed, and land use for food crops and animal feed is expected to expand significantly from an already unsustainable level. The world must halt deforestation and increase forest restoration, while reducing emissions from food production, to mitigate climate change and keep the 1.5oC target within reach.

The UK hosts characterized COP26 as “the best last chance to get runaway climate change under control”, and on the second day of the summit, 130+ world leaders (now 141) representing more than 90% of the world’s forests issued the Glasgow Declaration on Forests and Land Use, which has at its core the commitment of:

‘…working collectively to halt and  reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.’

This was highlighted in the press and by leading conservation groups as a key step forward, but many remain concerned that no actual implementation capacity or on-the-ground willingness exist to achieve it.

SPEED AND SCALE OF THE CHALLENGE

Forests cover 31% of the world’s land area, approximately 4 billion hectares. The average annual rate of net forest loss (forest loss as well as forest gain) was 4.74 million hectares over the past decade 

(2010-2020), 40% less than the previous decade, but still not a reversal of the trend and far away from the Glasgow Declaration’s target.

Forest loss and degradation continue at an alarming rate, mainly driven by increasing demand for agri-related products as the world population rises and becomes wealthier (see Figure 1).

environment statistics map

Figure 1 – Regional distribution of drivers of tree cover loss, 2001–18.
Source: World Resources Institute analysis on 2020 data from Global Forest Watch.

“HEARD IT ALL BEFORE?”

The Glasgow Declaration is an important signal, and the 2030 target is commensurate with the urgency required. However, similar declarations have been made in the past, notably the 2014 New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), which aimed to halve deforestation by 2020 and end it by 2030. The 200 entities that signed it failed to meet the 2020 target and are evidently not on-track for the 2030 target.

Following the NYDF, tropical primary forest loss increased by 44% to an average of 4.3Mha per year in 2014–18, from an average of 3Mha per year in 2002–13 (see Figure 2).

tropical graph

Figure 2 – Humid tropical primary forest loss before and
after NYDF.  Source: Forest Declaration Platform (2019). Progress on the New York Declaration on Forests – five year assessment report.

The conversion of forested land to other commercial land uses is an ongoing phenomenon characterized by short-term thinking related to profits, at the expenses of the long-term benefits of forest protection.

Although NYDF and Glasgow commitments share similarities, the Glasgow Declaration has greater momentum and leaves more room to be cautiously optimistic about its fruitfulness. The Declaration reinforces countries’ ability to meet their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the Paris Agreement, which are integral to their national policies; and it emphasizes the need for governments, businesses and institutions to secure financial commitments and channel their capital towards projects that support inclusive and sustainable agriculture.

Bold and comprehensive reforms are needed to catalyze the transformation of the agricultural sector, as further stressed in the latest IPCC report. Transitioning to deforestation-free supply chains requires a shift from current extraction/expansion-based agri-models to an intensification-based approach that can ensure less land clearing and better use of existing land.

The five-year assessment report on the NYFD has estimated that it will take around USD 45-460 billion per year to achieve effective forest protection and meet the 1.5oC target (see Figure 3). Yet, between 2010 and 2019, an average of only USD 2.5 billion per year was allocated to forest protection.

The lack of finance flowing to sustainable and regenerative agriculture is a major obstacle that has slowed, and continues to slow, necessary sectoral shifts. Consequently, the Glasgow Declaration once again calls for innovative finance and more investments in the agri-sector.

graph

Figure 3 – Forest Finance needed to meet NYDF target.
Source: Forest Declaration Platform (2022). Progress on the New York Declaration on Forests – Accelerating finance to reduce forest emissions

TRANSFORMING AND TRANSITIONING

Supply chains in tropical regions must adopt a sustainable, deforestation-free, socially inclusive business model that intensifies production to meet demand while restoring and protecting tropical forests. Sustainably intensified land will produce more food without requiring further deforestation, which will enable the conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems to protect biodiversity, and provide climate resilience and inclusive and decent work for local communities. Bringing degraded land, which amounts to 25% of the global land area, back into productivity means further deforestation is not needed  and natural forest areas can (and should) be restored. This sector transformation is fundamental to protecting forests, fostering sustainable trade and development, and increasing human and ecosystems’ resilience. This is clearly recognized in the Glasgow Declaration:

‘To meet our land use, climate, biodiversity and sustainable development goals, both globally and nationally, will require transformative further action in the interconnected areas of sustainable production and consumption; infrastructure development; trade; finance and investment; and support for smallholders, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities, who depend on forests for their livelihoods and have a key role in their stewardship’

Supply chains and their investors/financiers must be willing to ‘go deep’ into determining effective ways to change current practices and investing in the needed trial-and-error (the R&D) to make changes at scale. Too little tangible evidence of this has been seen since the NYFD. Land Use Change requires actual willingness, real technology, on-the-ground expertise and the purpose-built finance to deliver it. To do this within this decade means investment needs to start now, and it needs to start where the problem lies: at the frontier of where forests meet agri-commodity supply chains. 

MORE AND SMARTER FINANCE

Financing such transformations necessitates an urgent and meaningful reallocation of capital from major companies, banks, and investors into no deforestation business models. Intervening at the source of the problem is essential:  the finance sector should work with established, large-scale commercial actors to change the way existing value chains do business, achieve real emissions reductions and reach key tipping points that transform entire sectors.

&Green has been doing this since 2019, learning a lot on the way, always putting transformational change as the main investment criteria for every transaction: supporting interventions with scalable impact on protecting forests, optimizing production, and empowering communities. Many studies and pilots describe theoretically how financing ‘deforestation-free’ can be done, but investors will be convinced to replicate and scale-up mainly by the success they can see in a commercial, real-life setting.

By providing long-term debt to existing and influential players in commodity production, &Green is showcasing how transforming existing supply chains at scale can be done. With several transactions in the Brazilian cattle and Indonesian palm oil sectors, &Green has demonstrated that a relatively small amount of strategic capital intelligently allocated can start shifting entire sectors.

From our experience, we see hope: Hope, that stopping deforestation can be achieved in a critical space, tropical agri-commodity production. Hope, because with supportive regulatory and market environments, the finance needed to make it happen is substantial, but not unattainable if it can be mobilized through models in which public actors de-risk commercial capital. And hope, because commodity players on the ground as well as the international finance community have acknowledged the problem, and are testing new models.

The key challenge we see is both the speed and the scale at which donors, investors, and players on the ground will raise to the challenge and turn commitment into action – using the tools and learnings made in the past years.

WHAT LIES AHEAD

This decade calls for the global financial sector to invest in and develop sustainable supply chains and introduce innovative finance instruments that can change and increase the resilience of food and land use systems. The rules of the game must change. &Green is proving that shifting from an incremental to a transformational approach is a possible and scalable solution to protect increasingly degrading forests and land use systems. There is a clear financial opportunity to do this and the combination of this with outsized climate benefits will become increasingly attractive for asset owners and managers during this decade as long as frontrunners, such as &Green, can showcase the opportunity and do so at scale.

The decisions taken on the road to 2030 will determine the future of our forests and ecosystems well beyond the next eight years. Our actions must be focused in the present, but conscious of the sustainability of our natural capital up to and beyond 2030. It is now urgently necessary to act with speed and at scale to transform the agricultural sector and protect forests, as commitments without action have proven to inevitably fail.

 ANNEX: Full Text Of The Glasgow Declaration On Forests And Land Use

We, the leaders of the countries identified below: 

Emphasise the critical and interdependent roles of forests of all types, biodiversity and sustainable land use in enabling the world to meet its sustainable development goals; to help achieve a balance between anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removal by sinks; to adapt to climate change; and to maintain other ecosystem services.  

Reaffirm our respective commitments, collective and individual, to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological  Diversity, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the Sustainable Development Goals; and other relevant initiatives.  

Reaffirm our respective commitments to sustainable land use, and to the conservation, protection, sustainable management and restoration of forests, and other terrestrial  ecosystems. 

Recognise that to meet our land use, climate, biodiversity and sustainable development goals, both globally and nationally, will require transformative further action in the  interconnected areas of sustainable production and consumption; infrastructure development; trade; finance and investment; and support for smallholders, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities, who depend on forests for their livelihoods and have a key role in their stewardship. 

Highlight the areas of strong progress in recent years and the opportunities before us to accelerate action. 

We therefore commit to working collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.  

We will strengthen our shared efforts to: 

  1. Conserve forests and other terrestrial ecosystems and accelerate their restoration; 
  2. Facilitate trade and development policies, internationally and domestically, that promote sustainable development, and sustainable commodity production and consumption, that work to countries’ mutual benefit, and that do not drive deforestation and land degradation;
  3. Reduce vulnerability, build resilience and enhance rural livelihoods, including through empowering communities, the development of profitable, sustainable agriculture, and recognition of the multiple values of forests, while recognising the rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as local communities, in accordance with relevant national legislation and international instruments, as appropriate;
  4. Implement and, if necessary, redesign agricultural policies and programmes to incentivise sustainable agriculture, promote food security, and benefit the environment; 
  5. Reaffirm international financial commitments and significantly increase finance and investment from a wide variety of public and private sources, while also improving its effectiveness and accessibility, to enable sustainable agriculture, sustainable forest management, forest conservation and restoration, and support for Indigenous Peoples and local communities; 
  6. Facilitate the alignment of financial flows with international goals to reverse forest loss and degradation, while ensuring robust policies and systems are in place to accelerate the transition to an economy that is resilient and advances forest, sustainable land use, biodiversity and climate goals. 

We urge all leaders to join forces in a sustainable land use transition. This is essential to meeting the Paris Agreement goals, including reducing vulnerability to the impacts of  climate change and holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C, noting that the science shows further  acceleration of efforts is needed if we are to collectively keep 1.5°C within reach. Together we can succeed in fighting climate change, delivering resilient and inclusive growth, and  halting and reversing forest loss and land degradation.

% OF FOREST COVERED BY ENDORSERS: 90.94%

HECTARES OF FOREST COVERED BY ENDORSERS: 3,691,510,640

Total: 141

1. Albania
2. Andorra
3. Angola
4. Argentina
5. Armenia
6. Australia
7. Austria
8. Azerbaijan
9. Bangladesh
10. Belgium
11. Belize
12. Bhutan
13. Bosnia and Herzegovina
14. Botswana
15. Brazil
16. Brunei Darussalam
17. Bulgaria
18. Burkina Faso
19. Cameroon
20. Canada
21. Central African Republic
22. Chad
23. Chile
24. China
25. Colombia
26. Costa Rica
27. Côte d’Ivoire
28. Croatia
29. Cuba
30. Cyprus
31. Czechia
32. Denmark
33. Dominican Republic
34. Democratic Republic of the Congo
35. Ecuador
36. El Salvador
37. Equatorial Guinea
38. Estonia
39. Eswatini
40. European Commission on behalf of the European Union

41. Fiji
42. Finland
43. France
44. Gabon
45. Georgia
46. Germany
47. Ghana

48. Greece
49. Grenada
50. Guatemala
51. Guinea Bissau

52. Guyana
53. Haiti
54. Holy See
55. Honduras
56. Hungary
57. Iceland
58. Indonesia
59. Ireland
60. Israel
61. Italy
62. Jamaica
63. Japan
64. Kazakhstan
65. Kenya
66. Kyrgyzstan
67. Latvia
68. Lebanon
69. Liberia
70. Liechtenstein
71. Lithuania
72. Luxembourg
73. Madagascar
74. Malawi
75. Malaysia
76. Mali
77. Malta
78. Mauritius
79. Mexico
80. Moldova
81. Monaco
82. Mongolia
83. Montenegro
84. Morocco
85. Mozambique
86. Nepal
87. Netherlands
88. New Zealand
89. Nicaragua
90. Niger
91. Nigeria
92. North Macedonia
93. Norway
94. Pakistan
95. Panama
96. Papua New Guinea

97. Paraguay
98. Peru
99. Philippines
100. Poland
101. Portugal

102. Republic of the Congo
103. Romania
104. Russia
105. Rwanda
106. Saint Lucia
107. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
108. Samoa
109. San Marino
110. Sao Tome and Principe
111. Senegal
112. Serbia
113. Seychelles
114. Sierra Leone
115. Singapore
116. Slovakia
117. Slovenia
118. Somalia
119. South Korea
120. Spain
121. Sri Lanka
122. Suriname
123. Sweden
124. Switzerland
125. Syria
126. Tanzania
127. Togo
128. Tonga
129. Turkey
130. Turkmenistan
131. Uganda
132. Ukraine
133. United Arab Emirates
134. United Kingdom
135. United States of America
136. Uruguay
137. Uzbekistan
138. Vanuatu
139. Vietnam
140. Zambia
141. Zimbabwe

NEW ENDORSEMENTS SINCE 10/11/21: The Holy See, Nicaragua, Singapore, Turkmenistan

Sara Senouci

Sara Senouci recently joined SAIL Investments as a Sustainability Analyst, boasting a background in financial services and ESG risk assessment. Prior to joining SAIL, she served as a research analyst at Sustainalytics-Morningstar, focusing on companies within the packaged foods, agriculture, and retail apparel sectors. Sara’s academic credentials include an MA in African Studies from Leiden University and a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Al Akhawayn University in Morocco. Additionally, she possesses a certificate in ESG investing from the CFA Institute.

When she is not working, Sara enjoys traveling, literature and good food.

Lucian Peppelenbos

Lucian Peppelenbos is an external and independent member of SAIL’s Investment Committee, bringing in over 25 years of experience as a sustainability professional. He works for Robeco as Climate and Biodiversity Strategist. Robeco is an international asset manager with over EUR 180 billion in assets under management; and Lucian overseeing the integration of Climate and Biodiversity in the company’s investment processes. Lucian previously worked as responsible investment specialist at APG Asset Management. Before that he helped to set up IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, a public-private partnership that co-invests with corporates in sustainable commodity supply chains. He earned a PhD in social-economic sciences at Wageningen University.

 

In his free time, Lucian loves cooking and spending time in nature.

David Smart

David Smart serves as a Senior Adviser to SAIL and is a member of the SAIL investment Committee. He has 42 years experience as an investor with a particular focus on fixed income and emerging markets. He has however covered a wide array of asset classes including private equity, debt and venture capital and, in the last 8 years, impact. David spent most of his career at Fiduciary Trust and Franklin Templeton where he enjoyed a 28 year year global advisory relationship with the United Nations Pension Fund and worked with many of the top Sovereign Funds and Central Banks. He now has multiple non executive and advisory roles and chairs the Investment Committee for the Health Foundation endowment fund, having spent 9 years in a similar role for the National Trust, Europe’s largest conservation charity, where he oversaw the introduction of an allocation to an impact portfolio aligned with the Trust’s main environmental objectives. He received an MA in Classics from Cambridge University. 

David greatly enjoys playing the piano, antiquarian books, tennis, cricket and rugby.

Istvan Fritsche

Istvan Fritsche is the Head of Business Development at SAIL Investments. He brings 24 years of expertise in asset management and banking across public and private markets that covered various asset classes. Istvan`s career includes roles at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan AM, BlueBay AM, ING IM, IKB (AM), and RiverRock ECP. Transitioning from investment banking to the buy-side in 2004, and later to private markets in 2013 where Istvan found his enduring passion. Istvan’s academic background is diverse, with studies in Politics (International Relations), Economics, Philosophy, and Art History at Frankfurt University. Istvan is a CAIA Charterholder.

Outside the office, Istvan leads an active lifestyle as a runner, swimmer, squash and tennis player, and sailor.

O'Neil Thiart

O’Neil Thiart is an Investment Analyst with the Investment team at SAIL Investments. His background includes a role as a listed equity analyst for a buy-side investment manager in South Africa, where he analyzed a wide array of equities on the JSE. O’Neil holds a BCom Hons in Financial Analysis from the University of Stellenbosch, graduating Cum Laude in 2021. He has also completed all three levels of the CFA program, positioning him to become a CFA charterholder once he meets the experience requirements.

O’Neil loves to swap his desk chair for a bike saddle, though his physique hints he’s more of an enthusiast than Tour de France contender.

Martyna Walkiewicz-Killard

Martyna Walkiewicz-Killard is a Senior Associate in the SAIL Investments Operations Team. She contributes through a decade of specialized legal and compliance expertise, particularly in investments, corporate law, criminal law, and M&A. Her career includes key roles at TMF, overseeing legal and compliance, and as a Legal Manager at Finch Capital in Amsterdam where she managed all legal affairs. She started her career at Beauchamps LLP in Ireland, managing the investment portfolio for Enterprise Ireland. Martyna earned a MSc in Criminology and Forensic Psychology and a BA with Honours in Criminology from Middlesex University in London.

Away from work, Martyna pursues painting, poetry, and philosophy. She enjoys working out and cooking.

Marthe Tollenaar

Marthe Tollenaar is the Associate Director in the Sustainability team at SAIL Investments, with more than 14 years of experience in managing sustainable forestry and agriculture investments in emerging markets. She led the sustainable strategy for Southeast Asia at New Forests in Singapore, and later managed international projects in The Netherlands for a carbon finance organization and began her career managing sustainable forestry in Africa. She holds an MSc in Ecology and Natural Resource Management and a BSc in Biology.

Marthe is an avid runner and yoga enthusiast, and the team’s dedicated supplier of home-baked banana bread.

Michael Schlup

Michael Schlup is the Chief Sustainability Officer of SAIL Investments, and a member of SAIL’s investment committee. He is a sustainability professional with over 25 years of experience, having previously worked for Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products including managing the Cocoa Horizons Foundation. As global agribusiness and food company Bunge, he oversaw Africa for their asset management and environmental markets team. He was the founding CEO of the Gold Standard Foundation, an NGO that established quantification and impact maximisation standards. Michael’s career began by advancing sustainable energy financing at the United Nations and working as a management consultant. Michael is a trained scientist and holds a M.Sc. in Geography from the University of Basel, Switzerland, and a M.Sc. in Industrial Environmental Economics from Lund University, Sweden.

A keen sailor and cyclist, Michael balances these exhausting activities by making his own beer, bread, and sausages.

Andrea Salmon

Andrea Salmon is the Business Manager at SAIL Investments. She oversees office management, HR, and projects that draw on over 11 years of operational and administrative experience in small to corporate-sized businesses. Andrea’s career began in Dubai, and she has since gained international experience in Hamburg, Cape Town, and currently in The Hague. She graduated from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, with a BA in Social Dynamics and a Postgraduate degree in Marketing.

Outside of work, Andrea enjoys hiking and cycling in the great outdoors, as well as traveling and practicing yoga.

Laura Rodriguez

Laura Rodriguez is an Associate in Business Development at SAIL. Specializing in Investor Relations, she has a focus on corporate sustainability and sustainable finance. Bringing over four years of experience to her role, Laura transitioned to SAIL from Sustainalytics, where she played a key role in aiding corporates and investors integrate strategic ESG considerations into their operations. Her background also includes involvement in sustainable initiatives at Ahold Delhaize and BAM International. Laura’s career started in architecture, where she spent over three years designing residential projects in Colombia. She holds a Master’s in Sustainable Business and Innovation from the University of Utrecht and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Los Andes in Colombia.

In her leisure time, Laura bakes delicious cakes and keeps active playing tennis.

Erik Peek

Erik Peek is an Investment Director directing origination, deal structuring, and management. Erik’s 30 years of deep experience in financial markets, particularly in Latin America where he is also certified by Brazil’s CVM, has helped him play a pivotal role since Sail’s inception. As the former CEO of Rabobank Brazil, Erik bolstered the agricultural sector by managing assets of $10 billion and his leadership extended to serving on boards like Banco Regional and the Forest Stewardship Council, and credit committees. Erik holds an MSc from Karlsruhe University and an MBA from IMD.

Off the clock, Erik is married and takes pride that his independent children are now making their own societal contributions.

Natalia Pasishnyk

Natalia Pasishnyk is the Sustainability Director at SAIL Investments with 18 years of sustainability experience. She has worked in Brazil as a consultant, supporting major corporations across a wide range of sectors including agriculture, forestry, mining, renewable energy, finance, and governmental bodies build responsible low carbon strategies and supply chains. Her sustainability focus began with climate mitigation projects in the Brazilian Amazon. Natalia, a trained scientist, earned her M.Sc. in Sustainable Forestry from the University of Freiburg, Germany.

Beyond work, Natalia enjoys travelling off-the-beaten-path, discovering cultures through cuisine and customs, and has a keen interest in artificial intelligence.

Elea Papaemmanuel

Elea Papaemmanuel is an Associate Director on the SAIL Investments Sustainability Team. Her specialization in sustainability is supported by a decade of supply chain management and sustainability risk expertise across agri-commodity and extractive sectors. Elea has also collaborated with diverse stakeholders, including NGOs and corporates, to foster the adoption of sustainability standards. In her previous role at IDH, she focused on sustainable practices in the cotton, cocoa, and tin mining industries. Elea earned an M.Sc in Public Policy and Management from the London School of Economics and a B.Sc in Economics from the University of Essex.

Elea loves to bring people together through her culinary talents, hosting meals seasoned by her French and Greek roots.

Gustavo Oubinha

Gustavo Oubinha is the Brazil Investment Director at SAIL Investments. Gustavo leads origination, deal structuring, and portfolio management, leveraging 25 years of financial market expertise. Certified by Brazil’s CVM, he previously enhanced Rabobank Brazil’s strategic initiatives as Managing Director, focusing on credit structuring and M&A, and has experience in complex investment transactions through his work at Banco InterAtlântico and Machado Meyer Advogados. Gustavo holds an LL.M. from the University of East Anglia as a Chevening Scholar. His further education in economics law from Fundação Getúlio Vargas is complemented by programs at Harvard, INSEAD, and Chicago Booth.

Off duty, Gustavo values family time, enjoying moments with his wife and two children.

Brett Mallen

Brett Mallen is the Chief Operating Officer at SAIL Investments and spearheads its financial, legal, and compliance capabilities. With over 20 years in investment management, he notably led as COO, and acting CEO, at Sanlam Africa Investments, focusing on private market funds and board leadership. Previously, he worked in Sanlam’s Private Equity team. Brett is admitted as an attorney in South Africa, holding an LL.M (Cum Laude) from Leiden University and a CFA Charter.

Brett prioritises family and fitness outside of the office. He spends his spare time on active holidays with his wife and two children (skiing being a firm favourite). Brett has recently discovered the 70.3 Ironman events and has competed in one event per year.

Adrian Lain

Adrian Lain is a Senior Sustainability Associate at SAIL Investments specialising in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). He brings with him 11 years of international experience in research, certifications, and geospatial analysis in public and private environments, which builds on his career start as a research technician in the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute.

During off-hours, Adrian explores the world through music and aviation.

Joachim Kotze

Joachim Kotze is an Associate Director and a member of the Investment Team at SAIL Investments. His role is backed by 12 years of experience in the investment field with career positions at Denker Capital and Rootstock Investments, and respected asset managers in South Africa. At these firms, Joachim spurred research on internationally publicly listed companies, focusing on diverse industries such as agriculture and food value chains. His tenure at Rootstock was marked by his contribution to formalizing the investment process and his active role on the investment committee.

Before SAIL Investments, Joachim was engaged in equity research at Morningstar covering the global Aerospace and Defense sectors. Joachim earned a B.Comm in Financial Management and is a CFA charterholder.

Beyond professional pursuits, Joachim can be found outdoors mountain biking and taking bracing cold water swims. He also loves to cook.

Vidya Iyer

Vidya Iyer is an Associate Director in the Investment team. She is responsible for investment research and analysis, transaction structuring and execution, leveraging her 11 years of experience in venture capital investments, corporate finance and equities investment valuation. Vidya started her career with Goldman Sachs as an analyst and spent time with J.P.Morgan. She has a Bachelor’s of Commerce from the University of Madras, is a Chartered Accountant from India and holds a M.Sc. in International Finance from the University of Amsterdam.

In her leisure time, Vidya enjoys exploring the Dutch landscape on her bike or in running shoes.

Johnny Brom

Johnny Brom is founder and Chief Investment Officer of SAIL Investments, where he also leads the Investment Committee. Johnny has a diverse background in business development and investment strategy for companies across South Africa, North America, and Europe. He started his career at JP Morgan Securities and held a role at a Cape Town-based boutique asset manager, accumulating over 17 years of investment experience in developed, emerging, and frontier markets. Prior to SAIL, Johnny initiated an innovative financing unit at the Dutch agency, IDH, pioneering early blended finance transactions in global supply chains. Johnny holds a Master’s in Finance from SOAS University of London, a PE specialisation from London Business School, and a Business Science degree from the University of Cape Town.

Johnny is known for his love of whiteboards, and sketching in his journal.